Our good friend Desiree is an amazing photographer and despite everything else going on in our insane January I knew we had to set aside some time to do a baby bump photoshoot (especially since I’d hardly documented my growing belly the entire pregnancy!) We wanted to keep things simple so we just went for a little walk around the historic district of downtown Stavanger. That’s the amazing thing about Desiree: She can turn something as simple as a walk into something gorgeous! I’m so happy we were able to capture this special time in our lives as a couple just before we became parents for the first time!
One of my biggest regrets of my whole pregnancy was not documenting it as much as I should have, both in photographs and in writing. It was such a unique, crazy, and wonderful experience that I feel like I’m not doing it justice by boiling it down into one blog post. So many feelings and emotions and thoughts that should have been written down in the moment, but weren’t and are now lost. I made a promise to myself to be better the next time around, but for now I want to document at least some of the memorable things now so they won’t be forgotten.
I already covered some in this post, but here’s the full summary now that we’re towards the end:
I had the expected pregnancy side effects that everyone tells you about:
- Lots of nausea, but only one bout of throwing up! I call that a win! Wearing Seabands on my wrists was a lifesaver!
- Falling asleep on the bus on a daily basis.
- Hungry ALL. THE. TIME. The now-infamous “10 Taco Night” where Chris and I made homemade tacos for dinner and I ate 10 of them will live on forever.
- Cravings: Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. Basically…the more pasta the better. Also, sushi and pretty much any fast food from America that I couldn’t get here (Taco Bell, Cafe Rio, Five Guys, Zupas, In-N-Out, you name it!)
- Aversions: Strangely, chocolate. Most detestable? Chocolate cake both in smell and taste. That made work at the bakery pretty fun.
- Swelling in my feet and hands. I didn’t ever achieve cankle status, but I sure came pretty close!
Then we had the symptoms that came out of nowhere and none of the pregnancy books warned me about:
- Insane congestion, almost from day one. In the beginning it was so bad I had to wear Breathe Right nose strips constantly (even at work) or else I thought my head would explode through my ears. The plane rides we took during pregnancy were murder! It eventually mellowed out though to mild cold status and I only had to wear the nose strips at night and on particularly bad days.
- Snoring. Probably due to the above congestion. Poor Chris eventually resorted to wearing ear plugs to bed but bless his heart, when I volunteered to sleep in the second bedroom he flat out refused to let me.
- Meralgia Paresthetica in my left leg. Basically, my growing uterus was pinching the lateral femoral nerve in my pelvis, resulting in Novocaine-like numbness in my thigh that, when I stayed standing too long, transitioned into a burning sensation all the way to my knee. My doctors had no idea what I was talking about when I described it, with the exception of my chiropractor who knew what it was immediately but could do nothing for it. That was also a fun one at work where I stand 90% of the day.
- My leg hair completely stopped growing, but my underarm hair that I had had lasered away in college started growing back. It has since reversed and the leg hair is back and the underarm hair is gone again. So weird.
- My hair growth was bizarre in general. I grew hair in places I never had before (i.e. thick black hairs on my belly. Ew), my normal hair on my head stopped falling out and instead changed to a darker color, and I had a few really long white hairs grow out of my arm overnight. So weird!
- Swelling in my face. Some days I felt like I didn’t even recognize myself in the mirror! That was a hard adjustment. I didn’t expect to look so different!
Thoughts and Feelings:
I feel pretty prepared from a physical perspective and I feel like I’ve read enough books to have a handle on what to expect once the baby is born. What I have no idea how to prepare for are the emotions of it all. The fact that there is an actual person inside me right now hasn’t really sunk in. I’m excited, but I don’t feel like I’m in love with the baby yet. Will it be like everyone says and I’ll fall in love once she’s born? What will it be like to open my heart to another person so immediately? Who is this complete and utter stranger who is going to enter into our lives so suddenly? My own mom and I are pretty different, what will my daughter be like? How will the dynamic between me and Chris change once we are a family more than a coupledom? Are we going to live up to the parenting expectations we have set for ourselves? I’m excited, but also very nervous. I don’t feel prepared for such a big change. I’m also pretty anxious about labor and delivery. How bad will it actually hurt? Will I be able to handle it? Will Chris?
So many questions and so much mystery! This is certainly going to be a crazy adventure!